San Francisco Giants: Where Were You When? – ’89 World Series


A documentary made by ESPN called “The Day The Series Stopped” is a fascinating look at the 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics. This brought up old memories, and I would like to share.

As always, ESPN did a fine job putting together footage and interviews for the short film. It is highly recommended for fans of both bay area teams, and those interested in a history lesson. The disaster is viewed from both the players and fans perspective, as well as that of the guy who climbs the light standard.

My recollection of that day’s events was mostly bland. I was thirteen at the time, and was definitely excited for the game. But I was also a little worried about the Giants chances, already being down 2-0 in the series.

The A’s had a tremendous one-two combination in Dave Stewart and Mike Moore, and the Giants had scored only one run in the first two games (5-0 and 5-1) against them. And they would be pitching again in the series, I just didn’t know it would be the next two games.

Live Feed

Canes Warning

  • Michael Keaton: Putting the Batsuit back on for new movie "was shockingly normal"Winter is Coming
  • Miami football agrees to series with BYU had memorable 1990 lossCanes Warning
  • Re-Reviewed: Batman 1989 remains a benchmark for the Dark KnightBam Smack Pow
  • Batman '89 and Superman '78 head from the silver screen to the page in new sequel seriesBam Smack Pow
  • All 11 Batman actors ranked from worst to bestBam Smack Pow
  • As a Giants fan, the series was important for historical purposes, certainly, but also for pride of a region. Not too often do you see an entire area split as far as their fan base. People chose their sides in 1989, and there weren’t many out there that would say “whoever wins, I’ll be happy.”

    So, since the Giants had been in the bay area longer, and had failed to win the ultimate prize, the outcome stung even more. But let’s get back to the day.

    My parents had won the phone lottery and were able to secure two tickets to the game. Both of my parents are also long-time fans, so I understood why I wasn’t going. It was me and my sister, living in Hayward, and I was getting ready to sit down with my chips when the entire house cracked its knuckles.

    There was a sudden lurch, and then a rolling feeling. Getting under the doorway, we rode it out until there was silence. Nothing happened to the house, except a few dishes falling. The calmness felt weird though.

    More from SF Giants History

    Then my Aunt showed up and took us to her house. I didn’t quite understand the gravity of the situation at that time. I just wanted the game to start, and actually was worried about how a delay would allow Stewart and Moore to pitch sooner. A thirteen-year-old mind, who is a die-hard baseball nut, takes a little longer to grasp the world around the sport. Especially during the World Series.

    But once we got to my Aunts house I started to see what was happening around the area. And I didn’t care about the World Series anymore. This may seem hard to believe, but I was never really upset that the Giants lost that series.

    When an area is devastated like that, and lives are at risk, even a young mind will understand that the game is only a game. And it doesn’t match the importance of real life.

    After about 5 hours, my parents arrived to pick us up. They had to go all the way down to Santa Clara, and then make their way back north. The bridges were closed, as were many major roads.

    My uncle had just crossed the Cypress structure not too long before the earthquake hit. My parents were just approaching the ticket takers at Candlestick. They said they saw small pieces of the stadium break off and hit the ground below, but just thought that it was intense revelry by the crowd inside.

    It was way more, and it didn’t take long for word to get around that the piece of the Bay Bridge had collapsed. And the images of the car driving right into the hole that remained there, were seared into my brain forever.

    The aforementioned Cypress structure, with smoke coming out of each side, was also a sombering image.

    That is when I knew that if the series did start up again, it would be viewed from an entirely different perspective. At that point, I would be allowed to start healing. I would know that the adults have finished the majority of the “heavy-lifting” and we could have a little fun again.

    So we all waited.

    And finally, the day came to reconvene ten days later, on the 27th of October. And it was Stewart versus Scott Garrelts again, and the Giants lost 13-7. But I remember having a feeling I didn’t have before. It was one of a satisfactory loss.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am as passionate as anyone about winning, even to this day. But it was just seeing the teams on the field, and at Candlestick. It seemed therapeutic. So the outcome became secondary. I always had Will Clark‘s performance against the Chicago Cubs to remember.

    So the Giants lost the next game as well, and therefore losing the series in a sweep. It deprived the Giants from winning their first championship in San Francisco. And gave the A’s a much-needed championship, after losing to the Dodgers the year before. (How many of you were going for the Dodgers that year? How many for the A’s?) Poll question to follow.

    The series outcome really ended up being an afterthought, Giants fans, although somewhat bitter, would still see quality baseball for most seasons after that, and the A’s would be in contention much of the time as well. But people came together and helped rebuild spirits, bodies, and buildings in the after math of the 1989 earthquake. And the game of baseball was partially responsible for allowing us to move forward.

    Next: One Hit Wonders (Part Two)

    (I would love to here about your memories of that day or that series. If you would like to share them, I will put together an ongoing tribute to that day, and periodically post submissions on this site.)

    The “Where Were You When?” series will hopefully be very interactive, with stories from fans of the San Francisco Giants, that will continue to be passed on to new generations. Please keep it clean, for the kids.